Which among the following can constitute an early warning indicators€™ for drought in the upcoming Rabi season of crops?

Answer: [D] Deficiency in closing figures for South-West Monsoon

We know that exact timing of the Rabi crop varies with the latitude and is influenced by the withdrawal of the monsoon, therefore it can be anywhere from September to April. So, the first three options hint towards a Kharif Season. Here are some points:

Early indicators of Droughts…The following constitute ‘early warning indicators’:

  • For Kharif (sowing June to August)
  • Delay in onset of South-West Monsoon.
  • Long ‘break’ activity of South-West Monsoon.
  • Insufficient rains during the month of July.
  • Rise in Price of fodder.
  • Absence of rising trend in Reservoir Levels.
  • Drying up of sources of Rural Drinking Water Supply.
  • Declining trend in the progress of sowing over successive weeks compared to corresponding figures for “normal years”.

For Rabi (sowing November to January)

  • Deficiency in closing figures for South-West Monsoon (30th September).
  • Serious depletion in level of Ground Water compared to figures for “normal years’.
  • Fall in the level of Reservoirs compared to figures of the corresponding period in the ‘normal years’ – indication of poor recharge following SW Monsoon.
  • Indication of marked soil moisture stress.
  • Rise in price of fodder.
  • Increased deployment of water through tankers

(For Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry the crucial period is North East Monsoon – October to December)

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module